Twenty-five Members of the Kansas House of Representatives announced that they will co-sponsor a personhood amendment in the state. The amendment requires two-thirds vote of both the Kansas House and Senate, and if passed, it would grant full individual rights to fertilized eggs. Personhood amendments threaten emergency contraception, birth control pills, IUDs, and abortions – even in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the woman or girl.
Ann Rinker, a state coordinator for the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), stated, “Legislators that sponsor and vote for personhood legislation should be prepared to stand with a class of very, very extreme religious zealots. These are zealots who stand in direct opposition to Kansas citizens’ most basic elements of personal privacy and freedom.”
Although no “personhood” state constitutional amendment has been approved to appear on a 2012 state ballot, such amendments are currently circulating in eight states. Anti-abortion rights groups are divided about proceeding with the personhood amendments because of the recent defeat of a personhood amendment in Mississippi and because they question whether the initiatives and referenda will be upheld in the courts. For example the National Right to Life Committee and Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum appear to be opposed to this effort.
Associated Press 1/18/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/13/12